I Bet the Decision Gave Him Heartburn, Too.

Judge Jack B. Weinstein, after a jury found manufacturers not at fault, rendered his decision in NAACP v. AA Arms Inc. saying (according to this Washington Times report):

While agreeing there is “clear and convincing evidence” that gun dealers are guilty of “careless practices,” U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein ruled that members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People were not “uniquely harmed” by illegal use of firearms.

“Pish, tosh! A mere technicality!” squawks the anti-gun crowd. While the defense of this lawsuit cost the defendants upwards of $10 million.

This isn’t just an effort to legislate through the courts, it’s also an effort to bankrupt the manufacturers.

If you’re interested in reading the decision, it’s available here in four parts in Adobe PDF format.

I haven’t had time to read the whole thing, but these stood out:

That the industry has improved its practices in recent years was demonstrated by defendants. The number of individuals and entities licensed to sell firearms at the distributor or dealer level, FFLs, has been sharply reduced, making supervision by the ATF, manufacturers, and distributors easier.

That’s not an “improved practice” of the industry but the result of ATF rules changes. And yes, it does make supervision by the ATF easier. Supervision by the manufacturers isn’t part of their job description. The distributors are supposed to comply with the applicable laws. Then there’s this:

Members of the industry continue to fail to take many obvious and easily implemented steps, such as requiring retailers to avoid multiple or repeat sales to the same customers. Such steps are an effective way of checking illegal handgun diversion as revealed by the fact that Virginia, which was a major supplier of illegal hanguns to New York, almost immediately largely choked off that supply when it enacted a law limiting multiple sales to the same person.

What happened to the BATF investigating multiple sales? Sellers already have to report multiple purchases to the BATF. What the hell are they doing with the information? Wouldn’t it be better to investigate multiple purchasers and prosecute them if they prove to be gunrunners? Where is the law enforcement liability here?

And finally:

In short, the NAACP has demonstrated the great harm done to the New York public by the use and threat of use of illegally available handguns in urban communities. It also has shown that the diversion of large numbers of handguns into the secondary illegal market, and subsequently into dangerous criminal activities could be substantially reduced through policies voluntarily adopted by manufacturers and distributors of handguns without additional legislation.

Apparently the good judge hasn’t taken Economics 101. The one Father Guido Sarducci sums up succinctly in his “Five-minute University” bit as “Supply and-a Demand. That’s it.”

Ask the English all about Supply and-a Demand, Judge. The market will be served.

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